How to make a Social Media Marketing Plan
There are two approaches to social media marketing.
- Passive Posting: Whimsically posting what moves you and hope the people who need your services stumble across your account
- Action Planning: Seeking out what moves your clients in a way that brings their attention to what you can offer them.
You will always end up somewhere but a plan gets you somewhere on purpose. A social media marketing plan will get your business noticed by the people seeking your services. Have you ever noticed that when you start to look for a product online all the major social platforms start pushing ads for companies offering those services in your local network on all your social platforms? It’s how people find you and ultimately become your customer and not someone else’s. Planning social posts with complex ad strategies, combined with specific language strategically placed in the copy of your website and linked to your ads is vital.
Let’s dive into some key elements of planning out a well fueled social media marketing strategy.
Create A Content Matrix
Key social posts that need to make it into the rotation on a monthly plan:
- Sales Posts – If you don’t tell them what you are offering they will never know. Sales is a part of every business and can’t be avoided because it makes you uncomfortable. These posts need to come from the perspective of your business model. They can be calm and reassuring, or fun and exciting. Tap into industry specifics or let your creative flag fly by showing off your personality. They don’t have to come across as overly salesy, but they do need to have all the right elements to create a sale.
- Engagement Posts – These posts are geared specifically to activate conversation between your business and past, present, and future clients. They are the bridge between the Sales Post and the Entertainment Posts. They offer a lot of personal insight into your business specifically. They let people get an inside glimpse, feel like they have a real connection or an inside scoop to the people who own and operate the company. And, it helps social algorithms know that your page has relevant content that people want to see.
- Entertainment Posts – We all love a good meme, reel or video that is perfectly timed to music that sends us into tears of laughter or warm connections to feelings of joy. A good collection of industry-focused humor will get people reaching for that share button faster than every other form of social advertising. It’s why people go on social platforms. We want to laugh, we want to connect over embarrassing moments after the dentist or the way a toddler does something so on point that you’re on the floor rolling with laughter.
When you set out to create a content matrix, you and your team will need to plan out a good mix of posts that tap into these areas of expression. Having a solid mixture of posts that stand alone as a sales flier, as well as mixing them together by discussing an upcoming event, all while entertaining the viewers with something funny is valuable to your business albeit complex.
You will want to consider the percentages of what to push and when as you plan out your social posts, being very careful not to lean too heavily on one kind of posting to gain you the attention you need to keep your business thriving.
Designing Posts that Capture Attention
Designing creative and dynamic ad campaigns that rotate throughout the month can show you what is holding your audience and what isn’t. This element starts with design. Designing posts – whether they are images or videos – that stay true to your brand strategy, consistent with your business values, and are recognizable as you is what builds the foundation of your social marketing structure. If everything you post looks drastically different and the verbiage doesn’t ring true to who you are, you will be what we call “Social Nose” and users will scroll right past you. The same goes for posting too many images or videos that look exactly the same as the last ten uploads which makes consumers feel like they’ve already seen this, so again, they scroll right past you. It is a balance that takes time and creative energy. However, when done, it will present you to the world in such a way that gets that slow-down effect, the pause to take in, and that desired like and share.
Creating a Social Post Calendar
You probably already have a good idea of what days you have sales coming based on the upcoming holidays and events you’ve planned. So starting there is a good idea. You can put together posts for days your store or office is closed that also highlight that your online store is still available when the physical location isn’t open.
There are calendar platforms that will let you drop in images and create a post that will be published at a scheduled time. These can be really helpful as you set out to develop your plan. Another key element is understanding what time of day your targeted audience tends to be online and socially active. Gaining aid from your chosen ad agency here is helpful because they can run reports that show consumer movement patterns and drastically boost the engagement which leads to sales.
Scheduling Boosts and Ads
Once you have your content and you have scheduled it all to post on your calendar you will want to consider boosting your post. This will employ the powers of social platform algorithms to send your post to your targeted audience. If you are posting without boosting, your audience will be very limited, maybe as little as 1% of your following audience and possibly 0% of new potential customers. Social platforms have collected data so they can send your post boost and ad campaign directly to the people who have been searching for your products and services. It’s a great way to get your message out to more people and it offers you the option to control the spending budget by selecting how much you want to spend or choosing how many people you want to reach.
Tailor Content to Specific Platforms
Gone are the days of copying and pasting the same content across every social media platform. As platforms have evolved to offer more diverse content and users expect different content depending on the channel they are viewing, your brand should also keep pace by creating content that is tailored to each experience. Doing so will result in better post performance, and ultimately help you reach a larger audience.
For example, Instagram users expect to see aesthetically pleasing and snackable content. Posts with long videos or static images containing a large amount of text are going to cause users to keep scrolling and ultimately tune you out. Plus, the pesky algorithm will likely serve this content to a smaller audience. Instead, high-resolution photos, stories, and short videos (especially Reels) provide what interests the vast majority of users. On the flip side of that coin, longer form videos, infographics, and links to articles resonate more with Facebook users, who typically spend more time absorbing a piece of content before moving on to the next thing. The same goes for each platform. Twitter caters mostly to those wanting breaking news or up-to-date information about a topic or event. LinkedIn users are hoping to network or find a new job, which means they want to connect with industry peers over the latest news and talking points pertaining to their career field. TikTok is all about short, catchy video content. Whether it’s purely for entertainment, or even educational, users are looking to get in and get out without necessarily committing to just one brand or voice.
You might be thinking, “I don’t have the time or resources to diversify my content like that,” and that’s ok. Not every organization needs to be on every platform. Only manage what makes the most sense for your brand, and try to tailor the content as best you can, otherwise you’re wasting time and effort.
Consistency Is Vital
You have already done the work to build your company so you know that consistency is incredibly important. Social marketing is no different. One of the ways that companies get themselves forgotten online is that they get busy doing the work and not engaging in conversation and social interactions as part of their daily routine. Posting is only half the work; talking, liking, answering questions, and connecting with your audience is the other half. You won’t know that your posts aren’t gaining traction if you don’t go online to check, and inevitably, it will be time and money wasted.
We know that all of this on top of running your business can be very overwhelming and daunting. We have made it our business to help people run their businesses by stepping in alongside companies just like yours to take on all forms of marketing. Using them to bring life and clients to companies for close to a decade now.
So if you are needing more out of what Social Media Marketing has to offer, reach out, we are here to help.